Marriage: Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! I hope it’s a great day for you.
Yesterday I was reading a fairly unromantic yet realistic and helpful article written by Jonathan Clements of the WSJ. He calls it his valentine’s day to his readers. In it he talks about how to divorce the right way.
Of course he is not recommending you divorce but he talks about how he and his ex-wife made an effort to have their divorce not mirror his failed marriage and turn it into a successful event where the ultimate winners are his children. It made for interesting dinner talk at our table. My husband and I talked about how much different our lives would be if we were to get a divorce. Of course we were talking about how different our financial lives would be.
Together right now, we have a nice home, two nice paid for cars, no credit card debt, but some student loans (his) and we are saving for retirement and children’s college education. However, if we were to live apart from each other, we each would have to maintain our own household, which in turn would probably mean less savings for retirement and college and probably the acquisition of some debt. Together we are able to have more than apart.
I know this is nothing earth shattering to people who have gone through a divorce. But to others that haven’t, have you ever sat down and done the math? Divorce is something a married couple (or separating, for life partnerships for that matter) never wants to think about. But should you? Don’t you think it’s worth it to sit down and consider how different your life would be?
In related news, I found this article via Kacie’s website about how much this woman’s life changed after her husband committed suicide. I have talked about this before. How can someone not know the real extent of their financial situation? and why would you choose to turn your back to it? Sorry to leave you with these thoughts on such a romantic day but life is not always pretty.

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  • Dawn

    I like that you started with … “a fairly unromantic yet realistic.” Because that is the reality of marriage – it is not always going to be romantic.
    There are tough times – and it isn’t always going to be sweet, sexy, and fun. It takes work to have a good marriage. And doesn’t that make sense in a way. Anything we work hard towards is always more rewarding than something that comes easy. My hubby and I are high school sweethearts. We met when I was 16 years old. I’m 46 years old now. We have been married 27 years. We have had good as well as some bad times, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the riches in the world. He is still my favorite person!
    I agree 100 % with your recommendation of getting real and don’t give-up so easy…
    Terrific post!

  • MoneyCommonSense

    Hi Dawn,
    It’s good to hear about a succesful marriage. My husband and I have only been together 9 years but many times I think of celebrating not only anniversaries but also everyday that we spend together. It just feels that everyday we beat an statistic.